My literary foodies, it has been too long, hasn’t it? But I, your Starving Reviewer, am back in the saddle with some long stalled reviews for your culinary pleasure. Today’s dish takes a classic recipe of historical drama from a tense period of world history, but adds the interesting twist of setting the table for a young child. Will this new perspective on history prove to be tasty or bland?
Before we find out, let’s blow the dust off the Starving Review Creed:
- I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
- I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
I will say that it’s nice to get back to the pantry to find something a bit on the different side like Intrusion. What makes it different and what makes it good? Well, the difference is two-fold here. First, the majority of World War II-era works are focused on the war itself. It’s certainly a worthwhile thing to focus on, but this meal writes its recipe around the lead-up to the war and the early days.
While this means it isn’t big on overt action, the recipe is still rife with dramatic tension. It’s that unique tension born of anticipation and anxiety and that’s a setting that deserves to be explored. That tension walks hand-in-hand with the second noteworthy difference between other war-time dramas: the point of view characters.
Well, I’ve already noted this above, but Intrusion is told from the eyes of a child, a young British boy to be precise. It is a unique perspective to look at the war from, especially at the hands of a chef that can properly serve up that perspective. We can have that special mix of innocence, ignorance, imagination, and surprising insights that can only come from the mind of a child.
Fortunately, this chef is up to the challenge and pulls it off with aplomb. The characterization is what truly drives this recipe and gives it spice. While history does push the events onward, there is understandably less direct agency from the main characters themselves.
That leads to what I’d consider the only real flaw of the recipe and that is the at-times glacial pacing. It makes sense for it to be that way. In a starkly realistic look at this era from this perspective, there is only so fast the meal can be cooked. Still, there is little bits of fat that could be trimmed from time to time that could make it move a little quicker. This is a minor complaint though, to be fair, and I wouldn’t it let it stop you from grabbing a plate if this catches your fancy.
And I suppose that already lets you know what my wrap-up will sound like. Intrusion is a fascinatingly tasty bit of historical drama from a child’s perspective, with its only flaw being a sludgy pace. If you want to read an interesting take on WWII dramas or have a love for historical drama in general, I’d wholeheartedly suggest giving this a read. If your usual fare is slanted towards action-adventure pieces or thrillers, you might be put off by the slow pace but you may still be interested in picking it up.
FINAL VERDICT: **** (A tasty bit of historical drama from a child’s perspective, with its only flaw being a sludgy pace!)